Self-assembling peptide scaffolds promote enamel remineralization

J Dent Res. 2007 May;86(5):426-30. doi: 10.1177/154405910708600507.


Rationally designed beta-sheet-forming peptides that spontaneously form three-dimensional fibrillar scaffolds in response to specific environmental triggers may potentially be used in skeletal tissue engineering, including the treatment/prevention of dental caries, via bioactive surface groups. We hypothesized that infiltration of caries lesions with monomeric low-viscosity peptide solutions would be followed by in situ polymerization triggered by conditions of pH and ionic strength, providing a biomimetic scaffold capable of hydroxyapatite nucleation, promoting repair. Our aim was to determine the effect of an anionic peptide applied to caries-like lesions in human dental enamel under simulated intra-oral conditions of pH cycling. Peptide treatment significantly increased net mineral gain by the lesions, due to both increased remineralization and inhibition of demineralization over a five-day period. The assembled peptide was also capable of inducing hydroxyapatite nucleation de novo. The results suggest that self-assembling peptides may be useful in the modulation of mineral behavior during in situ dental tissue engineering.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Biomimetic Materials / chemistry*
  • Crystallization
  • Dental Caries / therapy*
  • Dental Enamel / chemistry
  • Durapatite / chemistry
  • Humans
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Peptides / chemistry*
  • Protein Structure, Secondary
  • Tissue Engineering / methods*
  • Tooth Remineralization / methods*


  • Peptides
  • Durapatite